Saturday, 6 January 2018

Toddler Seasons

You can mark the seasons by date, but in Canada that is generally of little value. Snow is on the ground in most of the country well before the “first day of Winter” and is usually still on the ground well past the beginning of “Spring”.

Some areas don’t really experience Spring at all. Somehow it goes from snowing to scorching hot, or vice versa, in the space of a week or two. My sister was living in Edmonton when her daughter was born. I went out to visit and was lucky enough to catch the “four days of Fall”, AKA the second week of September. “Fall” meaning yellow leaves, sun and sweater weather during the day, flurries and -4°C (about 25 °F) at night. Flurries. Though, according to the calendar, it was still summer.

I know similar patterns occur in parts of the US and other countries as well. Thus, many of us mark the seasons by weather, and/or states of road construction, rather than date.

I’m here to tell you, there is another way. You could also mark the seasons based on what is required to get your toddlers out to the park. Toddler seasons are as follows:



What it looks like:


Parent: “Ok, time to go to the park. Sit on the step so we can get your shoes on.”

Toddler: Sits on step, sticks feet out.

Velcro sneakers applied (always velco). And we’re out the door.

Estimated time from idea to actual park – three to ten minutes (depending on which park).

Time spent at park – one to two hours.

When it occurs:


One week (sometimes two) in late September/early October and (maybe) another week or two in late April/Early May. Unfortunately, any or all of Sneaker Season might be consumed by…



What it looks like:


Parent: “Ok, time to go to the park. Come here and get your rain suit on.”

Toddler: “No.”

Parent: Maybe we’ll just stay inside today…

Toddler: “Puddles!”

Parent: “You want to play in the muddy puddles like Peppa?”

Toddler: “Muddy puddles!”

Parent: “Ok, let’s get your rain suit on.”

Toddler: “No.”

Squealing, squirming…get foot out of the arm hole and into the leg hole…zippers (why does this thing have two zippers?!)

Parent: Dripping sweat, “Now, sit on the step so we can put your rubber boots on.”

Toddler: “No!” Runs for the kitchen

Parent: Glances at watch, Two hours, eight minutes and fifty-two seconds ‘til nap time.

Estimated time from idea to actual park – fifteen to thirty minutes (depending on time spent circling the kitchen).

Time spent at park – thirty minutes tops (may or may not include time jumping in every puddles along the way.

When it occurs:


A week or two around mid-October, most of April, and sometimes May.



What it looks like:


Toddler: “Go down slide.”

Parent: “You want to go the park?”

Toddler: “Slide, park!”

Parent: “Ok,” reaches for sunscreen.

Toddler: “Nooo sa-scree”

Parent: “Yes, we need sunscreen.” Applies it to half of Toddler’s nose.

Toddler: Ducks and runs (literally).

Parent: Look I’m putting on my sunscreen too.” (There is no way to make this look exciting that I have discovered.) Toddler is unimpressed.

Scoop up toddler, pen him in with knees and coffee table, apply sunscreen to one arm…Toddler climbs over coffee table. Grab his foot and haul him back, sunscreen second arm. Apply sunscreen to face and neck while toddler turns head back and forth, up and down, and screeches. Finally sunscreened, both parent and toddler are in tears…

Parent: “Ok, sit on the step so we can get your shoes on.”

Toddler: Sits on step, sticks feet out.

Parent: Phew

Velcro sneakers applied, sun hat on (then off, then on again), and we’re out the door.

Estimated time from idea to actual park – twenty minutes.

Time at park – one to two hours. (Unless foolish parent forgot to bring water.)

When it occurs:


May to September.



What it looks like:


Toddler: Looks out window, “Snow!”

Parent: “Wanna go play in the snow?”

Toddler: “Play in snow!”

Parent: “Ok, let’s get your sweater and snow pants on.”

Toddler: High-pitched screech, “No snow pants!”

Parent: “Then we have to stay inside.”

Toddler: “Outside! Snow!”

Get one squirmy arm in sweater, then the other, zip. Get one kicking toddler foot into snow pants, then another kicking foot into snow pants, repeat with first foot which is now out of the pants again. Re-zip sweater. Pull up snow-pant shoulder straps, grab mittens, pull up shoulder straps again.

Parent, put on your own snow pants and boots.

Round up wandering toddler, place on steps. Toddler boot one on, toddler boot two on.

Toddler Mitten one: attempt to match thumb with thumb hole, fail, pull on mitten. Mitten two: Don’t bother with ƒµ¢ʞing thumb hole, just try to get it on before toddler removes mitten one, fail. Finish with mitten two, wrestle on mitten one again.

Parent puts on own jacket.

Toddler arm one in toddler jacket, toddler arm two in toddler jacket. Marvel that toddler didn't fight the jacket. Attempt to zip jacket while toddler makes for the door. Grab toddler hat, parent hat, and parent mitts on the way out the door.

Estimated time from idea to actual park – Let’s be honest, we never make it out of the yard. Yard snow is just as good as park snow, and no one cleared the sidewalk.

Time outside – five to thirty minutes (depending on temperature—positive correlation to total outdoor time, and depth of snow—negative correlation to total outdoor time.)

When it occurs:


November to March. And sometimes April. Pretty much any of the seasons can happen in April.

I have no idea how anyone makes it out of the house with more than one kid under the age of four. Here’s to waiting (and hoping) for the next Sneaker Season to arrive in Ontario.

1 comment:

  1. Omg you had me laughing! I seriously break a sweat trying to get my kids into any and all weather appropriate gear. It’s ridiculous sometimes! I wrote a post (vent?) about putting kids in snow gear if you want to check out my blog to commiserate!